The Power of Self-Worth
Micro- a word meaning something small, something scaled down to the point where it is undistinguishable to the naked eye. It would be easy to mistake something labelled “micro” as being insignificant, but that would be a huge mistake. Tiny things do matter, and sometimes have the power to create a major impact on the world around them.
When I was growing up, I experienced my share of bullies and snobs, both groups of which seemed determined to prove in my adolescent mind that I was less-worthy, less-deserving, and just plain less than they were. Why? At the time it wasn’t obvious, but with the perspective granted by age and maturity, I realize it wasn’t my own shortcomings, but theirs that prompted their behavior.
I was never the most popular student; I lacked any athletic prowess, but I made good grades. I garnered a certain amount of respect from my teachers for my attitude and regard for the rules. (Yes, I proudly accept now that I was a nerd.) My detractors didn’t share my values, being more concerned with popularity or being “cool.” Perhaps they were simply jealous of my achievements; I never felt brave enough to ask them at the time.
During my junior high years there were taunts in the line in the lunch room, laughs and whispers behind my back in the hallways. Oh I know it could have been much worse, but for a thirteen year old who simply wanted to be accepted, life was sometimes painful.
What I had yet to realize, was that the opinions of others, especially the more negative ones, only had power over me when I granted it to them. Eventually I gained the strength, and experience, to stand up for myself. The bullies and the snobs in school couldn’t make me feel small or inferior unless I permitted it.
Even today, I sometimes find myself in situations where I am uncomfortable, where I am not sure of my acceptance in a group or situation. But I recall the lessons of those early years, and acknowledge, that it is okay to be who I am; that whether or not everyone likes me really doesn’t make me less of a person, or less worthy of respect than anyone else. I can only be myself, and that’s enough.
To all my readers out there, remember you are worthy of love, of acceptance. Never let anyone make you feel like a “micro” being.